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Playaz N1

post #1 of 506
Thread Starter 
This isn't so much of a review, as I'm really no reviewer, just some thoughts I have on these IEM's. I might add a few more impressions after they have burnt in a bit. Firstly, let me just say these were an impulse buy as my IE8's have been sent back faulty and a guy on here (james i think?) seems to think that these playaz EQ'ed are on a par with IE8's, plus these cost me €19, yes that's 19 EUROS off ebay! EDIT: looks like they have gone back to normal price as it was a 3 day special, you can probably still make him a lower offer though.

Not only that but I also found this page with 3 glowing reviews that swung it for me: Google Translate

I'm no real audiophile but I know what I like, my IEM history in the past 5 years is e2c>sf5p>triple.fi>e500>IE8, I love my bass. I've only spent about an hour with these since I opened them this morning and initial impressions are that they are pretty good, excellent in fact, instantly better than my backup pair of sf5p I've been using, the soundstage is just so much wider and top end is much more precise.

However they're issues, firstly they sound muddy as hell out of a non amped source (sony s618f in my case), but out of my amp their a different headphone, unfortunately there's a lot of hiss, and the biggest problem is WAAYYY too much bass that stomps over everything..I've EQ'ed a lot of it out but still its just not quite right at the moment. Build quality is surprisingly good considering the price point.

I'll post again once I've spent some time with them to see if some burning-in has resolved some of my issues. But as they stand these are a ridiculously good bargain, and already I would heartily recommend them to any bass head out there.

post #2 of 506
Hi Bigsy, nice to see someone else giving the Playaz N1 a try

I've been using them on and off for about 6 months now and believe it or not they remain my favourite IEMs for classical music to this day! This is mainly for two reasons:
- They have the best mids out of all my dynamic driver IEMs, including the IE8 and FX500 (I prefer dynamic over BA for classical).
- They have unrivaled airiness - better than all my other IEMs, including the IE8, FX500, CK100, SE530, you name it...

Of course, I concur with you, all this is ruined by WAAYYY too much bass out of the box, but I'm able to EQ them quite nicely from my rockboxed Fuze to a point where they sound absolutely brilliant IMO. Every time I put them on I'm still amazed how a phone this cheap can sound so good!

Build quality is not the best: eventually the metal part got seperated from the wooden casing and the driver wiring almost snapped. Had to glue the parts back together.

BTW I don't have hiss problems at all

Bottom line, if the Playaz N1 were designed with reasonable amount of bass they could be the steal of the century. In reality I can recommend them for EQ-friendly folks only - stay away if your source does not have a good, user customizable EQ.
post #3 of 506
Thread Starter 
I agree completely, and having spent some time with these now I would say the are my favorite IEM's ever, I would even rate them over my IE8's I sent back, really. Thing that did it for me was the following little mod:



For some reason they had foam packed behind quite thick wax guards, I don't have any wax issues so decided to remove it all, it opened the sound out even more and calmed the bass down, still I'm a bass head and I still have to EQ my player like so:



I listen to a lot of dance/electronic and these things are incredible for it, I seriously can't believe it sometimes, the soundstage and bass I swear matches my DT770Pros, for 18 Euros!!

The only issue that still remains for me is the fact they are very sensitive to air pressure and 'pop' a lot when I move my head/mouth it makes it difficult to be in anyway active when wearing them.

Anyway, I want to say thanks for bringing these to my attention james, they really are one of the best bargains I've ever bought, and would totally recommend them to any anyone wanting a really full, punchy, wide sound.
post #4 of 506
What can one do when his MP3 player have just ****ty EQ ( apacer AU822), can I reduce bass straight in mp3 files ?
post #5 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by expresado View Post
What can one do when his MP3 player have just ****ty EQ ( apacer AU822), can I reduce bass straight in mp3 files ?
I believe you could do this with dBpoweramp: chose some mp3's as source, use batch converter, add DSP effect = grafic equalizer, chose your player as target folder.... this means you'd have to reencode the files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsy View Post
Anyway, I want to say thanks for bringing these to my attention james, they really are one of the best bargains I've ever bought, and would totally recommend them to any anyone wanting a really full, punchy, wide sound.
You're welcome, glad you like them! From your pic I think I can see your problems taming the bass: you can custom your EQ by +/- 3db only. I have mine set to -20db at 40Hz in Rockbox!

And you're right, they are very susceptible to diaphragm crackling which is annoying to say the least. But due to their vented design (= limited isolation) I don't use them on the move anyway. As an all-purpose top IEM the IE8 are a far better choice, but despite of the Playaz' limitations they are still sensational bang for buck IMO.

Btw curiosity made me buy two other IEMs from the same ebay-seller, the Playaz Sonia S1S and the Xears Revolution XR120. Both are not bad at all, but the Playaz N1 are clearly in a different league.
post #6 of 506
It looks to me that this "amazing" German IEM is just a rebranded, $5 Kanen KM92.
post #7 of 506
Thread Starter 
Not 100% sure as the black plastic bit on the end of them is actually metal on my playaz, but yeah the rest of the shell looks the same at least.

I'll buy some and see as I was going to buy up some spares from the ebay seller I got these originally and hes put his prices up to £130+ quite a hike on 18euros I paid.

PS My playaz are still unbelievable for the money!

EDIT: Oh and thanks for the link if they are the same I'm gonna be one happy bunny
post #8 of 506
I couldn't resist and bought the KM92, KM928 & KM880.
post #9 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post
It looks to me that this "amazing" German IEM is just a rebranded, $5 Kanen KM92.
Thanks for the link, looks very similar to me! BTW nobody claimed they're German, even the German seller said they're rebranded (Fostex if I remember correctly, but not sure about that). And amazing they definitely are, for the price. Would be even better if we could get the same for $5!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsy View Post
PS My playaz are still unbelievable for the money!
x2
post #10 of 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post
I couldn't resist and bought the KM92, KM928 & KM880.
x2, KM92 and KM928 for me. Thanks again for the find!
post #11 of 506
I've killed some time researching the branding-options of Kanen so if these turn out to be of decent quality we should definitly rebrand them as a fun & cheap Head-Fi IEM.
post #12 of 506
^ I just realized you too have a rockboxed Fuze, so here are my EQ settings for the Playaz N1:
-20db@40Hz, -10db@100Hz, -5db@200Hz, 0db@4000Hz, 3db@12000Hz
I'm really curious if the KM92 will sound identical.
post #13 of 506
will definitly give these settings a try.

Btw, something totally unrelated, did you ever notice that, with using Rockbox on the Fuze, the files you transferred to your Fuze with the normal firmware don't show up anymore in Windows but are visible in Rockbox?

edit: found out that it had to do with the Fuze's stock firmware's USB-mode.
post #14 of 506
^ I suspected this to be a MTP/MSC issue but wanted to try it on mine before posting. Glad you found out for yourself!
post #15 of 506
Got the KM928 today and sadly these are clearly inferior to the Playaz. Of course a fresh out of the box impression, but the difference is substantial. The KM92 have not arrived yet, so there's still chance for a surprise...
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